Is there an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad version of Adium?

Not at this time. Adium is currently only available for Apple-branded Macintosh computers running Mac OS X.

In the following text, you can read “iPhone” to mean any device running the iPhone OS, including the iPod touch and iPad.

Are there plans to make one?

Not at this time. We'd like to, but there are significant legal and technical hurdles.

In short, Apple's terms for the App Store are not compatible with Adium's license. Either huge parts of Adium would need to be rewritten from scratch, or Apple would need to change it's terms. Neither is likely. More details are available here.


Developing for the iPhone is similar in many respects to development for Mac OS X. Some of the same frameworks, such as Core Audio, are present. But a lot of them aren't. For example:

  • The Application Kit (on which our interface is built) is replaced with UIKit.
  • Animation is dramatically different from how animation currently works in Adium on Mac OS X.

The hardware poses challenges as well. The iPhone has less memory than Adium tends to use, and also has a significantly slower processor (and, in most iPhone-OS devices, only one processor). Also, maintaining a network connection over WiFi uses a significant amount of battery, which could pose a problem for long-term use.

So porting Adium to the iPhone will certainly be a lot of work. Large portions, if not almost everything, will need to be completely rewritten or scrapped. Other parts would survive, but undergo extensive changes. This is a lot of work.

Also, keep in mind that we'd want to release that version of Adium for Mac and have it proven by users (that means you) before we go applying that knowledge to Adium for the iPhone. You wouldn't want us to port an unstable version, would you? ☺

We're not going to make an iPhone app using the unofficial iPhone SDK, because it's not an officially-supported programming interface. It could break at any time, and we couldn't predict what would happen if it did.

We also will not be making a Web app (a client that you could use from Safari).

Alternative suggestions

IM clients using Apple's iPhone SDK include:

Web Clients:

  • Google Talk (that link will only go straight to the GTalk web interface on an iPhone).

AOL's AIM Express/ICQ2Go (a web-based client for AIM, MobileMe, and ICQ) will not work, because it requires Flash or Java, and neither of those is present on the iPhone.

Page last modified by Robert, 7 years ago